We’ve been seeing that with our loving Father in control, we can have confidence in the midst of the stress of exams. So what does this mean practically? Here’s a few top tips from friends of mine who’ve recently graduated.
1. Keep going in your relationship with God
Often during exams spending time with God is the first thing we drop. If we stop and think, we’ll see how crazy this is. We’re so prone to forget the grace God has lavished upon us; we need to turn to the Bible to remind us of all we have in Jesus, and give us perspective when exams are looming large. And with all the pressures of exams, the first place we should be turning is to the God who is in control of it all. This isn’t something to feel guilty about, but rather we should see how much we’re missing out on!
2. Keep going in your relationship with his people
Next on the list of things we drop is meeting with our church family. Again, if we stop and think we’ll realise this is madness. We need people around us to keep pointing us back to Jesus – people who have been there and know what it’s like, who can help keep us calm when we’re panicking. We need our broken brothers and sisters around us to take us out of ourselves as we seek to love them back. We need the care of our pastors and our small groups to keep us going.
3. Rest well
It may seem counter-intuitive, but taking a day off a week really helps you work better the other six days. Taking regular breaks can refresh you and make it easier to concentrate; why not use them to pray, or to send an encouraging text to a friend who you know is struggling too?
4. Find out where you work best
For some, they need the peace and quiet of their own room; for others, they need the social buzz of a coffee shop. Some find it impossible to motivate themselves if they’re on their own, and need to work in the library with a group of friends. Figure out what works for you.
5. Plan your revision
Whether you love colour-coded timetables or hate the very thought, having some kind of plan is essential. Plan in breaks, so that you don’t feel guilty about them. If you can, treat revising like a job, which you can leave in the library and so rest properly in the evening.
6. Be healthy!
Eat some fruit. Go for a walk. Don’t stay up late. So often we’re stressed because we’re not looking after ourselves. Tea and hobnobs are great for revision sessions, but don’t live off them. Energy drinks may seem great at the time, but the restless night’s sleep afterwards means it’s often not worth it. Our physical, mental and spiritual health are more linked than we think!